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Starting Strong: A Mentoring Fable by Lory A. Fischler, Lois J. Zachary

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Strategies for Good Conversation

It sounds straightforward—ask open-ended questions, listen actively to what your mentee is saying, and clarify understanding to make sure you are both on the same page. But as all experienced mentors know, staying in authentic conversation throughout a mentoring relationship can be challenging. You will need to think and work your way into good conversation. It’s easy to fall back on sharing wisdom, giving advice, and answering questions. But as the Levels of Conversation Model (Figure 10.1) makes clear, the real work of conversation is not handing over a to-do list or book of personal aphorisms, but building trust with your mentees and encouraging them to grow and develop into their own authentic selves. Mentoring ...

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